Pulitzer Remix: A 2013 National Poetry Month Initiative


For National Poetry Month, the Found Poetry Review is sponsoring an online project called “Pulitzer Remix” which will entail the posting of one poem per day in April by eighty-five poets who are basing their pieces on the 85 books which have won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

I’m creating a series based on the language of Booth Tarkington’s Alice Adams, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922.  In a preliminary interview for the project, I said:

 …I wanted to read something  popular from the early 1920s–something that was filtered out of the high literary canon–to get a better sense of the aesthetic diversity of the era. Like many literary critics who work on the twentieth century, I’m most comfortable with the monuments of experimental modernism: 1922 was, of course, the year The Waste Land first appeared and the year Ulysses was first published in book form. And 1923 saw the publication of Jean Toomer’s Cane, William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All, and Wallace Stevens’ Harmonium. It’s interesting to think that, in 1921, someone (at least in New York) could read Tarkington’s easy-going realism in a serialized section of Alice Adams in the Pictorial Review and then go see a production of Susan Glaspell’s expressionist drama The Verge.

Alice Adams has been interesting to work with so far because of, among other things, the Midwestern vernacular of the characters.  The 17th word of dialogue in the book, uttered by Virgil Adams, the protagonist’s father, is “gumption.”

Check out my first poem here.

~ by Michael Leong on April 1, 2013.

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